1408 (2007)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Extremely average

Nothing makes it stand out

Movie Info

Movie Name:  1408

Studio:  Dimension Films

Genre(s):  Horror

Release Date(s):  June 22, 2007

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


So you’re the cool, calm, and collected Samuel L. Jackson

Mike Enslin (John Cusack) is a writer who has lost his will and direction.  The writer of popular haunted house series of books, Mike doesn’t even believe in the ghosts he writes about.  When he learns about a hotel called The Dolphin in New York City, he decides he must go there and stay in Room 1408…against request of the manager Gerald Olin (Samuel L. Jackson).  Mike is about to learn that some evils are real, and as he tries to escape Room 1408, he might just have to face the past from which he’s running.

Directed by Mikael Håfström, 1408 is a horror thriller.  The movie is an adaptation of the Stephen King short story “1408” which was original an audio story from Blood and Smoke in 1999 and then part of King’s short story collection Everything’s Eventual from 2002.  The movie was met with generally positive reviews and strong box office return.  Multiple endings of the film were shot due to complaints by screeners at early viewings.


See, I’m old because I’m in black-and-white

1408 is one of those ok, but forgettable horror films.  The PG-13 movie isn’t gory and isn’t extreme enough to shock you.  Instead, you get a nice little thriller but also somewhat predictable.

The movie is like a Twilight Zone episode.  Trapped in a room with no escape, Cusack’s character is out to beat the system.  I can see how original endings had the character dying (and it probably is more realistic), but that ending works better as a ghost story instead of a film.  The problem is that it becomes rather hopeless for the character that can’t even break through a wall or window to escape…it takes a rather random act to free him from the cycle.

Cusack works better in the romantic comedies than in serious roles.  It isn’t that he’s a bad actor but he often has that attitude that doesn’t work once things get tough.  He works at the beginning of the film as a nonbeliever, but once the horror picks up, he doesn’t really show the fear needed.  Samuel L. Jackson’s role is rather small and he doesn’t get to flex as much in this movie as he does in other films.


I’d be better off dead…hey, that’s my movie!

The movie suffers from the confines of a room and must keep figuring out ways to get outside of it.  As a PG-13 movie, the film can’t go all out and show gore and horror.  Movies like Poltergeist (which at the time was rated PG) worked around aspects like this, and I wish that films like 1408 would try harder to push the limit.

1408 is a nice little thriller, but you only need to see it once.  It is quick and to the point…and dismissible.  The film will probably remain a little film and won’t be remembered since it didn’t start a franchise and didn’t have a unique hitch…unless Hollywood gets lazy again and makes 1508:  The Next Story.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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